Saturday, September 26, 2015

2015 Irish Music and Heritage Program

Join Mick Moloney, 
Athena Tergis,
Billy McComiskey, 
Robbie O’Connell
 with dancer Niall O’Leary
 in Cuba
November 20-24, 2015

Mick Moloney, Athena Tergis, Cuban piper Alexander Suarez and Billy McComiskey
enliven a reception hosted by the Irish government at the Hotel Palacio O’Farrill

To great local press acclaim and overflow audiences, Mick, Athena, Billy and Niall performed in Havana in November 2014, the first visit by a group of professional Irish traditional musicians from the US. (Five minute finale; full concert

They are making a return trip with friends and supporters for concerts, workshops and an Irish embassy hosted reception November 20-24, 2015.  Details here

Our licensed people to people program explores the Irish and Irish American heritage of Cuba.  We see sites linked to the O’Farrill family, O’Reilly and Dynamite Johnny O’Brien; learn the history of Felix Varela, exiled priest and advocate of New York’s Irish famine immigrants and of the father of Prime Minister Eamon de Valera; and visit a memorial to the Irish hunger strikers (draft schedule below)

If you wish to accompany them and witness first-hand the impact of the historic normalization of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, contact John McAuliff,  

The estimated cost is around $950 for non-stop air from New York ($550 from Florida) plus $1200  for the four days while Mick and the other musicians are in Havana.  That includes hotels, most meals, local transportation, and guide/interpreter.  Unless we can find sufficient outside support, we will also ask each participant for a tax deductible contribution to help cover musicians expenses and performance arrangements in Cuba.  The amount suggested is $500 per person, but it could be less or more, depending on personal circumstances.  (The total is still less than most people to people commercial tours of Cuba.)

Cuba/US People to People Partnership
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
Riverhead, New York    917-859-9025

 Cuba’s Irish and Irish American history

Registration form here

Niall O'Leary with Mick, Athena and Billy
 at Fabrica de Arte, Havana, November 2014

Dr. Eusebeo Leal, historian responsible for the restoration of Habana Vieja, visits the statue of Father Felix Varela in St. Augustine.  When Varela was forced into exile by Spanish authorities because he opposed slavery and colonialism, he embraced the famine Irish in New York. 

Hunger strike memorial in Havana

Draft cultural program  

• Friday, 29 November

5.30 pm: Hipanoamericano Cultural Center, Press Conference and Presentation of the "Festival of Celtic music and traditions" project. 

8.00 pm: Presentation of Cuban artists and amateur groups representing the Celtic culture in the country.
• Saturday, 21 November
2.00 pm: Rehearsal at the National Theater
8.30 pm: Concert at the National Theater by Mick Moloney and friends 
11.00 pm: Delirio Habanero Social gathering between Cuban and Irish American musicians and artists
• Sunday November 22
4:00 p.m. Cuban Celtic Concert, House of Poetry

9.00 pm: Concert at Fabrica de Arte . Mick Moloney returns to FAC.
• Monday, November 23
10 a.m.: Irish Heritage Conference Library, Plaza de Armas
2.00 pm: Meeting and interactive class in National School of Arts; Mick Moloney, with students and teachers
• Tuesday November 24

Travel back to the US                                                

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